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As a prelude to the opening of the 2012 TCM Classic Film Festival, Turner Classic Movies (TCM) will air a special on-air tribute to eight-time Oscar® nominee and honorary Academy Award recipient Peter O'Toole, who took center stage at last year's festival. On Wednesday, April 11, TCM will premiere Live from the TCM Classic Film Festival: Peter O'Toole, a one-hour special taped at the 2011 festival in which TCM host Robert Osborne interviews the legendary actor in front of an audience of festival attendees.
"We all have our favorite actors, and when people ask me about mine, one name I always mention is Peter O'Toole," Osborne says in his introduction to the special. "He's not only a favorite actor but a great actor."
Osborne goes on to say, "It's no secret Peter O'Toole is a very private man, so we were especially pleased when he accepted our invitation to fly from his home in London to join us at the second TCM Classic Film Festival in Hollywood. During his visit, he was given the rare honor of placing his hand and footprints in the forecourt of Grauman's Chinese Theatre. I was very pleased to host the ceremony, which was attended by many of Peter's friends, his family and his fans. Then Peter and I sat down for an in-depth interview in front of a live audience. He was charming, delightful, classy, very funny and a perfect guest. We had a wonderful time."
In the special, O'Toole keeps the audience enraptured with stories from his life and career. He recalls his earliest memories of going to the movies as a child, an activity usually prefaced with a milkshake. He remembers his earliest movie experience was going to see the Marx Brothers in A Day at the Races (1937) with his father, a racing bookie. He also talks about his first career as a journalist, his stint in the Royal Navy during the Korean War and his decision to become an actor.
Osborne and O'Toole then launch into a detailed discussion about his film career, beginning with some memorable words he received from director David Lean during his first day on the set of Lawrence of Arabia: "Pete, this is the beginning of a great adventure."
The special wraps with O'Toole providing his personal definition of acting: "In the beginning was the word and the word was made flesh. That is, to me, is what acting is. You make the words flesh."